tv PBS News Hour PBS September 6, 2012 12:00am-1:00am PDT
captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions >> ifill: good evening from the time warner cable arena in charlotte, where day two of the democratic national convention is underway. i'm gwen ifill. >> woodruff: and i'm judy woodruff. on the "newshour" tonight: the president arrived here in north carolina this afternoon. officials moved his speech tomorrow night back to this arena after forecasters predicted severe thunderstorms. >> ifill: we'll have highlights of the convention and the other news of the day ahead on tonight's "newshour." major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by:
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under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. ( cheers and applause ) >> thank you! >> ifill: that was followed by saxophonist branford marsalis performing the national anthem. ray suarez is on the floor now among the delegates, where he's been each night this week. >> suarez: you know, gwen, one of the biggest events of this week is something that isn'tingt going to happen, the long-expected and long-planned-for stadium welcome for president obama tomorrow night where he would give his acceptance speech. because of threatening skies, that has been canceled and moved indoors to the arena where the rest of the convention has been held. well, it means some inconvenience for the people who were set to appear there. it means some inconvenience for the people who were staging the event, but the real problem is with the tens of thousands of people who gave tens of thousands of volunteer hours in order to qualify for a ticket to
see the president accept the nomination of his party for another term as president. there's no place to put an extra 60,000 people in this arena. and then, there's mundane considerations. how do you move the stage set inside? and where do you get a couple of hundred thousand balloons. there may be no balloon drop here. there just aren't enough balloons to be had. >> ifill: who do we expect to hear from tonight on the schedule? >> suarez: tonight as mentioned will be a lot of economics but also with a heavy doll up of politics, along with the leader of the a.f.l.-c.i.o., richard trumpica, and the founder of cared max, a virginia brewer, and we'll also hear from the heads of the senatorial and congressional campaign committees. the democrats are trying to take back the house of representatives and keep their hold on the senate, and of course, the main attraction
tonight, former president bill clt. >> woodruff: thank you, ray. >> woodruff: with us tonight once again are shields and brooks. that's syndicated columnist mark shields and "new york times" columnist david brooks. david, we're looking ahead to bill clinton tonight. people, meanwhile, are still talking about the first lady last night. >> it seems to be unanimous. mark and i were not in the minority. pretty much a home run. i read some very conservative web sites -- fox-- it was bipartisan. american yiewt owe united. they thought she did a fantastic jork as did i. >> ifill: the fact that she did a fantastic job, mark, assuming we all agree, what difference did that mack in the long run? >> it makes a difference in one of the great advantages barack obama has had over mitt romney is one of likeability, americans identifying with him, thinking he cares and understands more their problems, what they're going dliew than does his
opponent. the degree that that reinforces that is to obama's advantage and romney's disadvantage. >> woodruff: now that we've heard from the first lady, how do they continue to move this message ahead that this president has the right answers for the next four years? >> well, i think the big one-- the big dog tonight is william jefferson clinton, and i think he makes the case, i think, for the bridge to the-- at least the next fifth of the 21st century. and i think he-- but the key is the president. i mean, the president has to do it himself. he's the one that has to acknowledge the disappointments, explain it, and at the same time, lay on the what he intends to do different and better in the second term. >> ifill: is it fair to sawrnlg however, that bill clinton, part of his job here tonight is also to focus in the way that a lot of the democrats who spoke last night did in very overt ways and less overt ways on mitt romney. >> he crystallizes -- i i think
the clinton speech is a little overblown. >> ifill: really? >> he's not a great speaker. he's very popular. but you can remember a great phrase-- >> ifill: oklahoma city. >> another that was a nonpolitical speech but i'll give you credit for that one. i think what he does-- and he did this in the ad which has been super effective for obama-- is crestalize. he takes issues we all are familiar with and futs in phraseology. i'm curious to see how he does that. the second thing is clinton changed the democratic party, temporarily, towards a centrist position. he balanced budgets and produced surpluses. it is not clear to me-- and this is a question for me-- does the rubin strategy apply to today's democratic party. i see very little sign that it does. >> woodruff: just quickly, mark, how much of clinton's popularity can be transfer to president obama? >> it isn't transferable. i think david is right, he does crystallize, but he makes the
argument for obama better than obama does. he is a brill advocate, and i think he's a far better advocate when speaking for somebody else than he is on his own behalf. he is not eloquent but he is critizealizing. i did not hear a lot of crystallizing in tampa. maybe i missed it. i think crystallizing is in rare, rare supply this campaign season. >> ifill: we know what to listen tonight from both of you. and we'll be back with much more convention coverage, all that after the, news of the day. here's kwame holman. >> holman: republicans today offered their own critical take on the democratic convention. in idell, iowa, vice presidential candidate paul ryan said tonight's main speaker former president bill clinton will try to shift attention from mr. obama's economic record. >> we're going to hear a lot of things in charlotte, but we're not going to hear a convincing argument that we're better off than we were four years ago. we're going to hear from
president clinton tonight in charlotte. my guess is we'll get a great rendition of how good things were in the 1990s but we're not going to hear much about how things have been in the last four years. >> holman: meanwhile republican presidential nominee mitt romney continued debate preparations at a private home in vermont. however he took a quick trip to an appliance store in nearby lebanon, new hampshire, where he spoke with supporters about the needs of small business. wall street hesitated today, after a profit warning from the shipping giant fed-ex. the company said it's being hurt by a slowdown in business-- the latest sign that the global economy is dialing back. that was enough to keep stocks in check. the dow jones industrial average gained 11 points to close at 13,047. the nasdaq fell five points to close at 3,069. the passage of hurricane isaac has exposed oil from the 2010 spill, along the louisiana and alabama coastline. b.p. acknowledged today that the oily tar came from its record-
breaking leak at a gulf well site. the tar balls and mats had been buried under sand since then, but re-appeared after the hurricane caused severe beach erosion. louisiana has closed one stretch of beach and restricted fishing. the government of syria came under new pressure today from two former allies. turkish prime minister recep tayyip erdogan accused the syrian regime of terrorism. he also criticized the united nations for not doing more to stop the killing of muslims. >> ( translated ): the regime has become one of state terrorism. it is now in that situation. since march 2011, the number of those who have been massacred and martyred in syria is now almost 30,000. in syria, the massacres that are empowered by the indifference of the internal community, are continuing increasingly. >> holman: in cairo, egypt's president mohammed morsi also
denounced syria. he called again for president bashar al-assad to step down. meanwhile, "the new york times" cited reports that iraq is again allowing iran to use its air space to fly weapons to the syrian regime. the iraqis had shut down the air corridor earlier this year, under u.s. pressure. a former police chief who touched off a major scandal in china has been charged with defection, taking bribes and abusing his power. state media announced the charges against wang lijun today. in february, wang briefly took refuge at a u.s. consulate after being demoted as police chief in a city in southwestern china. that led to the ouster of bo xilai-- his former boss-- as communist party leader there. bo is still under investigation. last month, bo's wife gu kailai was given a suspended death sentence for the murder of a british businessman. in afghanistan, the military announced today it has arrested or expelled hundreds of
soldiers, as part of an effort to stop so-called insider attacks on foreign troops. the attacks come as the u.s. tries to continue its plan to transition out of afghanistan. margaret warner has the story. >> warner: on a pre-convention swing through virginia yesterday, president obama again touted his plans to end the afghan war. >> this november you get to decide the future of the war in afghanistan. by the end of this month i will have brought home 33,000 troops. ( applause ) i've said we will end this war in 2014. >> warner: but a linchpin of that promise-- to train afghan forces to take over the fight-- faces a new challenge. 45 nato troops have been killed this year by afghan troops-- 15 just last month. all this, just two years before a planned hand-over of security
to full afghan control. u.s. and afghan officials have vowed to fix the problem. and in kabul today, a defense ministry spokesman said hundreds of afghan forces have been fired or detained for showing links with insurgents. >> all the afghan security forces were ordered to use all their resources in hand to prevent these kinds of incidents. the afghan defense ministry with the help of international community will follow this matter by exchanging intelligence information. >> warner: and last weekend, the u.s. military suspended training of 1,000 new recruits to special village-based afghan local police units being tutored by american special forces. u.s. army lieutenant general james terry said today about a quarter of the insider attacks can be blamed on insurgent infiltrators or their sympathizers.
the rest he said stem from personal vendettas and cultural miscommunication. >> we also understand that a lot of grievances and dispute resolutions are done, frankly, at the barrel of a gun out there. what we are moving toward and continue to train toward is that you've got to understand the sensitivities out there. >> reporter: though the u.s. is re-vetting all 16,000 afghan local police forces, it's unclear how many of the total 350,000 afghan troops will be re-screened. for more on this, i'm joined by john nagl-- a retired army lieutenant colonel, and veteran of both iraq wars. he's commanded u.s. trainers of both iraqi and afghan forces. and, john nagl, welcome. >> it's good to be back. >> warner: it's not only president obama who has embraced the 2014 deadline. after initially criticizing it, mitt romney said he would meet it, too. what do the problems say about the feesibility of getting all u.s. combat forces out by then? the core of the exit strategy which, you're right, there's no political disagreement on this. the republicans and democrats agree with president karzai of afghanistan's assertion that all american combat troops should be out of afghanistan by the end of
2014, but that depend on afghan security forces being able to pick up the load with the assistance of american and nato advisers. that relationship between the american advisers and the afghan troops, trust is absolutely essential to that working out. and so these specific problems with the afghan local police are not strategically decisive, but the relationship between american advisers and afghan troops, not just through 2014 but for probably a decade afterwards, that really matters. >> warner: based on your experience what, are the difficulties training indigenous forksz especially so quickly, so hugely. i mean it's gone from 100,000 five years ago to 350,000. >> so the basic problem in afghanistan-- there are many-- one of them is that we're working in a country that's really been devastated by 30 years of war. so the human capital really isn't there. in iraq, the soldiers knew how to read. they didn't know how to fight. in afghanistan, the soldiers
know how to fight but not how to read. and unfortunately, it's hard tore teach people to read than it is to teach them to fight. we're struggling with basic human infrastructure problems. the other big problem is we took our eye off the ball in afghanistan for so many years while we were focused on vawk and have been playing catch-up the last couple of years and as you rush to build a force in a very short period of time, some bad apples slip through, and we're seeing some of that. we're also seeing continually cultural connection problems. so americans, even after 10 years working in this country, burning korans, american marines, desecrating taliban corpses, and that sort of cultural conflict and tension does erupt into violence in this kind of society. >> warner: you mentioned the iraq war. is there any precedent for occupation force, a force like the united states, training up such a huge endijinous force so quickly, in modern warfare? >> we tried to do similar things
in iraq, actually, after quite cleverly disbanding the iraqi force we decide that was a bad idea and decided to rebuild it. general petraeus worked hard in that effort to rebuild an iraqi force but he was working from a much larger force than had previously existed, a much better trained force. >> warner: and as you said they could read. >> and they could already read. no one, i don't think, has ever tried to build a force this quickly in history from such a stunted base of human capital with such literacy problems, basic etication problems. so it's an enormously difficult task we've set for ourselves. >> warner: will hitting the pause button, what they're doing on the training of some of these, especially local police, is that going to enable for a month or two to solve the problem? it sound a lot more deep-seated than that? >> we won't solve the problem. but we'll mitigate-- we'll find some of the worst actors inside the afghan local police, and they will, over time, spread out and lookt afghan national army,
the afghan new hampshire police, which have been raised over a longer period of time and have been more carefully vetted. in november i was working with some of the afghan local police. they're a pretty rough crowd. they do need-- it's a very locally raised force. very brave american special forces troops but they're not strategically decisive to the fight. they're an additional layer of protection for kabul for the core of the afghan government. but we can slow down with them. the real problem would be the afghan national army had real infiltration problems. >> warner: so bottom line, the american people hearing this campaign conversation, can they conclude that u.s. combat forces will come home by the end of 2014? >> they can certainly conclude that, but they should remember american combat advisers are going to stay in afghanistan for at least a decade to come.
they will be exposed to combat. we will continue to lose some american forces in an effort they believe is worth the price for american national security but that is going to continue to come at a price displarg at a cost. john nagl, thank you. >> thank you, margaret. >> holman: those are some of the day's major stories. now, back to gwen and judy in charlotte. >> woodruff: and we're back overlooking the democratic >> suarez: i'm with mayor anthony fox, the mayor of charlotte, north carolina, the host city. and, mayor, the meteorologists have given us some complicated news. it's making convention week a little difficult for you guys. tell us more. >> well, look, we have to be concerned with public safety. any event in our stadium would have requiredded people to be in lines for self hours, in all likelihood. and with the threat of thunderstorms, it made sense to cancel the event over at the bank of america stadium. it's disappointing for many of the people in north carolina but
we have to do what we have to do. >> suarez: did you wait till the very last minute to get the best weather forecasting advice you could before pug the trigger on the cabs cancellation? >> i think the campaign took enormous pains to wait out the scenario so they could make the best call possible. obviously, it could have made a decision several days earlier. but wanted to wait it out to make sure the forecast really did call for those type of threatening thunderstorms. so we got the threat, and they made the call, and we're going to make the best of it displai now, mayor, of the many thousands of people who will be disappointed, there are some people to worry about. these were volunteers who had given of their time in order to receive that ticket. not exact let's people you want to make mad at you this close to the election day. >> i think people understand mother nature, and the reality that the campaign has a vested interest in making sure people are safe. i mean, if something had
happened, and they'd gone ahead and there had been some kind of disaster associated with the thunderstorms, we would not have been able to forgive ourselves. i think one of those things. we have to go with it. on the other end of it, the president is doing a conference call with those affects tomorrow and he's also pledging to have an opportunity for all of the folks that were planning to come tomorrow to soo him between now and election day. >> suarez: so he will make another appearance here in charlotte, maybe to give them another shot at the stadium? >> he's looking to find ways to get people engaged and have another opportunity, yes. >> suarez: mayor anthony fox, thank you. >> thank you. >> there has been so much recurring debate about weather but another policy recurring debate has been auto bailout or auto rescue? it dpebdz which party you belong to which one of those terms you embrace. democrats tonight the make the case that the president saved jobs. we're diswroind by two of them,
michigan senator carl levin, and tim ryan, a member of the house from ohio. both of you come from districts representing auto workers. had term do you use, senator? >> we saved the auto industry. the president helped save the auto industry. it was critically important that that be done. a million jobs have been saved. no auto-producing country in the world did not support its auto industry during this recession. the idea that we would let it go under and the romney statement, "let detroit go bankrupt," his definition of bankruptcy meant real bankruptcy, not just restructuring. it's going to hurt him in michigan and ohio what he has said about letting the auto industry go under. i think it will hurt him in the country. i find the reaction to that slogan-- imported from detroit-- having an amazing impact everywhere in the country, by the way. when that commercial hit that chrysler put on, it brought pride-- not just to michigan,
not just to ohio. i'm telling you, i found it all over the country. >> ifill: congress, i want you to ask you to tell your story. >> it's an amazing story. three shifts there. they started making the chevy cruise which is selling like hotcakes all over the globe and just last week got an announcement that general motors is going to invest another $200 million in the lords town plant, which is going to solidify the next generation of cruise to be in northeast ohio. 4500 jobs, and that's not even talking the supply chain, as want senator knows very well it's seat manufacturers, the trucking company, the logistic companies. many of those are good-paying union jobs so it has been a huge success story and one of every eight jobs in ohio is directly or indirectly related to the auto industry. >> woodruff: senator levin, i wanted you to go back to what you said about mitt romney. he said he want a managed
bankruptcy, and he said that's what he recommended, and he said president obama followed his advice and that's what happened. >> president obama did not follow his advice. as a matter of fact, if he followed romney's advice it would have been go to the private sector and borrow your way. g.m. could not, chrysler could not have borrowed from the private sector. credit had been stopped up. and so they had to have the government guarantees, the government loans for this to have worked. romney can try to fiddle around with word if he wants to, but the rhetoric he used and the position he's taken is a very anti-manufacturing position. it's an antigovernment partnership position with an auto industry but it's more than oughtoze. it's manufacturing in america, made in the u.s.a. he doesn't care. he has spent a good part of his life offshoring, working with companies and his hedge fund to ship jobs overseas. he doesn't care if jobs go overseas. he's helped send jobs overseas. >> woodruff: congressman ryan, how do you see this question of what governor romney says about
what actually happened? >> well, he was on the wrong side. he got caught. he was in a republican primary. he's trying to appease the tea party. his life has been based on these kind of decision of not caring. and it took action by the government, and he's representing a very antigovernment wing of the party, which is an extreme wing, and when you look at the families that are there working, the tax base that's now established in ohio, it's not a coincidence. for john kasich to address the nation and not even mention the auto bailout shows how politicized this has actually become. >> ifill: one of the stories that came out of tampa last week was the constant conversation about what the president had not done. even on the floor last night, we heard speakers say the story hasn't opinion told. on the case-- specifically on the case of the auto rescue/bailout, where have the unions been in this argument, the people who could tell the story? >> where the unions have been is very strongly supporting what president obama did. and it was mixed advice, by the
way, in the white house. there is a fear that people might hold it against him that he was going to help a private sector industry survive. and there's a philosophical opposition in the republican party, now dominated by the tea party, to have a government partnership in the private sector. but in a global economy, you better have a partnership in the private sector or else you're not going toic mait. >> ifill: what do you mean by mixed discussion in the white house? >> there was apparently debate in the white house, according tie number of books, as to whether or not the president should make the decision he ultimately did. he made a tough call to put the government in a partnership position and it has paid off handsomely with millions of jobs in america. >> i think it's important, too, just to say it was not politically a popular decision to make. it was balm-motors, it was government motors. it was a tough political expawlz i think in these times we need a leader ready to make the tough calls. here i am in my district with 4500 jobs in the supply chain
because the president was willing to read. >> by the way, no relation to paul ryan? >> i traced it all the way back to the mother land, i'm clear. >> woodruff: what about the broader republican argument the president has done enough to support small business and that's why we just don't have the job growth we should be having? >> come to ohio. you'll see we have have very low unemployment in part where auto is and the suppliers i mentioned, many would be considered small business and the restaurants, the good italian food in northeast ohio, they're all doing very, very well because of that auto rescue bailout package. and new england to, that the investments he's making in education, the tax credits, right down the line that wore in the stimulus package that we need to continue, have all been benefitting the-- make work pay, foargz. all of these things have benefitted small businesses. >> woodruff: all right congressman tim ryan, senator carl levin. we thank you both. it's good to have you with us. >> great to be with you. >> thank you.
>> woodruff: in the hall are about 800 latino delegates-- the highest number attending any presidential convention. ray suarez looks at the effort to win latino votes this fall. >> suarez: a young mayor becomes the first latino to keynote a democratic convention. >> my grandmother spent her whole life working as a maid, a cook and a babysitter, barely scraping by, but still working hard to give my mother, her only child, a chance in life, so that my mother could give my brother and me an even better one. >> suarez: last week in tampa, a young u.s. senator became the first latino keynoter ever at a major party convention. >> my dad used to tell us: "en este pais, ustedes van a poder lograr todas las cosas que nosotros no pudimos." "in this country, you will be able to accomplish all the things we never could." >> suarez: that's no coincidence. the 2010 census counted more than 50 million latinos in the
united states. new mexico's former governor, bill richardson, who ran for president himself in 2008, says a threshold has been crossed. >> we're the real deal now. we've been the sleeping giant, but we've woken up, just because of our numbers. >> suarez: turnout is key. on average, latinos have lower incomes than other americans, lower education levels, and are younger than other americans. that fits the profile of all of which are part of the profile of non-voters. >> i think the challenge for the president and the democrats is to have at least the turn out they had four years ago, for any democrat to be elected president, you need 65% of the latino vote, if you go under, you are in trouble. >> suarez: the governor is relieved marco rubio isn't the g.o.p. vice presidential nominee, and that a close election goes to the president.
today first lady michelle obama visited a gathering of latino delegates and elected officials. >> all of our ciz deserve opportunity, whether it's passing health reform so families don't go broke because someone gets sick. whether it's helping folks stay in their homes or fighting for the dream act so that all the our children have opportunities worthy of their dreams and their promise. >> suarez: president has won praise from latino officials in removing the threat of deportation for undocumented immigrants who were brought to the country illegally as children-- the so-called dreamers. undocumented young adults carried banners saying, no papers, no fear in sunday's big demonstration at the democratic convention. >> which side of history it's going to be on with this issue. >> we want to know what side of history the president is going to be, if he will be helping the small communities and migrant communities. >> the national head of college
democrats is a mexican american from texas. alejandra salinas says, sure, the dreamers can't vote, but their cause does drive support from latino voters who support the new policy. >> this is a country they want to get jobs in and contribute to our economy in. these are our friends and family and we love them dearly and when we know we have a president that's standing up for them and advocates for them and understands their struggles that's impactful. it inspires people. it inspires young latinos and the country to know the president is thinking about everybody and he's making sure >> suarez: a record nine million latinos voted in the 2008 election. registration drives and the campaigns are trying to drive that number to 12 million in 2012. >> we will be watching the latino vote throughout the election. local leaders are playing a big role at this year's democratic convention, and we are joined now by representatives of three major cities. atlanta mayor kasim reed; houston mayor annise parker and antonio villaraigosa, mayor of
los angeles and convention chair. thank you all for being with us. >> glad to be here. >> great to be here. >> woodruff: i do want to ask you about city issues but mayor villaraigosa what happened at the very beginning of this convention earlier this evening when you galved it to order and tried to add language in the platform about voice vote that would recognize jerusalem as capital of israel. you had to take the vote three times because the "nos" were almost as loud as the "yas." >> actually, the first time i knew we had a majority. the second time i was pretty sure, by the third time i was absolutely sure. that's what i oh, pined. you have 10 minutes to object. and nobody did. >> woodruff: but what was that all about? i mean the party has already been refugee criticism about taking that language out of the platform this year. >> i'll tea you what it was about. we have a president who expects the platform to reflect his
values and his sentiments. and he made it clear that he wanted that language back in it it, and that's what whatwe did. >> ifill: it should be said we were sitting here at the time that vote was being taken and it was not a slam-dunk that the "nos" didn't outweigh the yeahs. >> under party rules, anyone can object and no objection was made in that 10-minute period of time. >> ifill: let me turn to the question for which we have some of you here for, and i want to start with you, mayor parker. we have seen a parade of mayors on the stage at this convention, taking-- making big keynotes and becoming the rising stars. the keynote speaker last nigh nights a mayor. are mayors leaders of this party? >> more than 80% of the u.s. economy and 80% of the population is in major metro areas across the united states. where we're jobs are created.
we're where people are migrating to create their future, and you'll find across america, the mast majority of major american cities are headed by centrist, very pra pragmatic, democratic mayors sphwhrood pick up on that question, mayor reed of atlanta, what difference does it make to american cities who is president? we know federal dollars are are shrinking, whether there's a democrat or republican in the white house. >> . >> you don't get to make excuses in cities. so having a president like barack obama who understands that cities really do drive our economy, has allowed us to get a much greater share and distribution of resources. seats a matter to our bottom line. every single mayor that is sitting here right now has a budget that is stronger because of the direct support of this administration. it makes a huge difference. >> woodruff: how do you answer that question? >> i agree. i've said many times eye get asked the question a lot because i've been on the campaign trail
for the president. and i'll tell you, i tell people, it matters who is in the white house and what majority is in the congress. we've got 600 million dollars in our funding from the federal government under this administration. we got more money for foreclosured homes than virtually any city in the united states of america. we were able to get a $546 million loan. this was this president and, again with the majority, the democratic majority, and then we got bipartisan support for america fast forward which i've talked to you about in the past, the surface transportation bill. all of this happened because we had a very sympathetic president, and democrats who understood that cities are the life blood of the nation. 89% of the g.d.p. is generated in our cities. if you took just the top three cities, we have an economy the size of france. if you took the top 10 cities,
we'd be a $5 trillion economy. my metropolitan area has an economy larger than 42 state. that's also true for new york and chicago. >> ifill: and yet, mayors, one of the interesting thing when we were in tampa last week, one of the big applause lines was the idea that the federal government is running our lives, and mayors, many of them democrats, don't mind it, and that republicans do. >> i received-- we're going to jump all over this. i received a little bit of money from the federal government, butty fund my city, and i have invested my local tax dollars in infrastructure. we-- you don't turn a city over to someone who doesn't believe in government. we believe in the power of government to do things because we have to do things every day. cities have to function 24/7. we don't have time to worry about, you know, debate this theory or that theory. i have to pick up the trash. >> we're also taking on issues they're afraid to take on in washington in a serious way. first of all, we balance our budgets every single year. when i got elected we had a $1.5
billion pension crisis. we work with labor. every union had a 15-0 vote to balance and pay down the liability. so issues that you all talk about with regard to washington every single day that never get resolved, we don't have that choice. we resolve them in dispaez that's why i think we're going to be a model for the nation, despite republican talking point. >> that is so true. in our conference of mayors, and the three of us are members of the conference of mayors, in our conference of mayors, we passed comprehensive imigation reform unanimously. last year we took on the issue of nation building at home and saying it's time to accelerate the withdrawal of our troops. we passed that with an overwhelming majority. this year we pass add as a framework, simpson-bowles, as a framework to take on the deficit. we have taken on seniority and tenure. this is a practical group of
people. we're not married to orkt orthodoxy and ideology but we do have understand democrats have been more focused on cities and on investment in those cities than republicans have. >> woodruff: are you saying the president was was wrong not to embrace simpson-bowles? >> the president has proposed a balanced effort to reduce the deficit along the lines of simpson-bowles. the only difference between the president's plan to reduce the deches and simpson-bowles is he doesn't raise taxes on the middle class upon. he races it on the top 2% of america and he doesn't cut defense to the level that he did does. simpson-bowles is a balanced approach. in the ryan plan, they just cut $4 trillion and want to give a $5 trillion tax cut to the upper income. >> you also have no partner. we can't balance the budget with no revenue. and both mitt romney and his running mate have said they will offer zero revenue. >> ifill: let me ask you this, mayor reed and mayor parker.
this is a convention where everyone is talk about an election. everyone is talking about battleground state. your state is not one. your state is not one. your state is not one. how do you know your priorities are even being heard in an election like this, mayor parker? >> again, cities are functioning very well at a very high level. people continue to move to cities. cities are where you go to find a job, to find an education and build your own future. cities are thriving with or without help from the government. we just need-- actually in large instoonsz to stay out of the way. one of the things you see mayors united on is we'd like to see direct funding to major u.s. cities will so it it doesn't get routed through the state. i work professionally with my governor, i'm still waiting on ike funding-- >> ifill: what is ike funding. >> hurricane ike. >> ifill: mayor reed. >> the same is true. if the united states wants to
see our economy really move, we will find a way to stop block granting funds through states and send them directly to mayors. we received the largest grant in the united states for $142. it is a grant from the department of transportation. we're building light rail in the city of atlanta. we matched it dollar for dollar. we put hundreds of people to work. the point i'm making is we know how to do complex projects to get our economy moving fast. >> we have raised revenue and we have cut spending at the same time displood all right, we are going to leave it there. we want to thank you all, mayor villaraigosa, mayor reed, mayor parker, thank you for beak here. >> it's a pleasure to be here. >> woodruff: we're listening to i think the very end of senator charles schumer. i think that's who is on the floor. >> it is. >> families who aren't sure what monday morning will bring but who believe our nation's best days are still ahead. president obama hasn't stopped
fighting for those families, and now we need to fight for him. ( applause ) to those like mitt romney who want to take us backward, let us send a strong, strong message in november as we say in brooklyn, fuugataabout outit. >> that's senator charles schumer of new york, another urban area, obviously. next up we are looking for members of the congressional black caucus. and here is the chair, represent itch emanuel cleaver of missouri.
♪ ♪ ( cheers ) >> hello, california! >> ifill: this is congresswoman bass from california. >> i stand before you today, i stand before you today as a proud member of the congressional black caucus and former speaker of the california state assembly ( cheers and applause ) 27 years ago in the face of opposition from those who said states should have the right to discriminate, america passed the voting rights act of 1965. people of all races, religions, and backgrounds joined together and fought for that law because every one of us deserves a fair shake and a fair chance at achieving our version of the american dream.
the right to vote gives us the power to take our future into our own hands. we must use that power today so that we do not lose it tomorrow. ( applause ) today, one of the darkest shadows of the past century is creeping into this one. one of our most basic rights, the right to vote, a right that we fought for and won, is under attack. throughout the union, governors and legislators have proposed or passed laws to make it more difficult for individuals to cast their ballots. we must build and be part of a nation where justice isn't just a catch phrase but embodies the quality and fairness that our nation's founders envisioned. more than 41 years ago, when the congressional black caucus was founded, that was our charge, and it still is.
( applause ) a vote and a voice in choosing our leaders, passing our laws, and setting the course for our nation. and for the future we seek a generation of greater opportunity for all of us, we stand with president obama in is thing thais--in setting that pas us forward. >> friends, let me take just one moment to say-- ( cheers ) i am proud to live in the u.s.a.! u.s.a.! u.s.a.! u.s.a.! u.s.a.! u.s.a.!
i am proud, proud to live in this great country. but, friends, i must tell you, america, it is up to us right now, it is up to us to make the decision on the type of country we will have. either we will move forward towards securing economic future to be built to last with a strong middle class, or we will go back to a place where america's promise is only fulfilled for a select few. america, this we will not do. ( cheers and applause ) in the 60s, we marched because it was the right thing for our country, and it made us stronger. fortified by our dispaight endowd by our creator. we helped our country to
overcome obstacles once thought insurmountable. in our nation's laws, they were thought to be insurmountable. in our hearts we thought they were insurmountable. and once again, it's our time to uphold justice. it's our time to protect the rights that we have won. and it's our time to stand up for the country we love, the united states of america! ( cheers and applause ) our faith tells us we have a moral obligation to better our community, to accept responsibility, and to care for each other. but these values are not just unique to believers. they are american values, and this is the american way. america, it is up to us, it's up to us to wake up. it's up to us to sit up. it's up to us to stand up. it's up to us to get up.
it's up to us to show up at the polls and re-elect the honorable barack obama, president of the united states of america! u.s.a.! u.s.a.! u.s.a.! u.s.a.! god bless you. >> woodruff: some impassioned remarks from texas congressman al green, and just a reminder, you can see all of the speeches online on our live stream. >> ifill: and we turn now to a few final words from mark shields and david brooks. david, i was kind of interested in listening to them just now because you mentioned last night that this seemed like a base convention. and here we saw the black caucus. we've seen the focus on latino voters, and also women all throughout this convention. >> it's great. the republicans talked as if everybody was a member of a small business. democrats sometimes talk as if everybody is working for government or dependent on government. they're talking to people very
much like themselvessic leaving a lot of people out. some of the platform fights, if you have a problem with people who go to church, don't leave god out of your platform. if you have a problem with some jewish voters because they don't think the president is standing with israel, don't leave jerusalem out of your platform. it's a question of appealing to people who aren't for and you makinmake extra effort is and it sure we're seeing a lot of that this year. >> ifill: let's talk about that, mark. that was very interesting. mayomayor villaraigosa had an explanation. >> i have great respect for mayor villaraigosa. i think this is a party that is quite independent of barack obama when it comes to its own interests. and it's been-- there's no question that he is the galvanizing figure here, that their devotion to him is complete. but they are organized around caucuses. they were organized around policies. and they're organized-- i could see it. we have cecile richards speaking
tonight. we had the leader of nral last night. emily's list. it's one by one by one, each of them sort of a checklist in spite of the fact that abortion on any open list of volunteered most important issues is never higher than tenth. never mentioned by more than 3% of voters. yet, it has dominated the discussion in the first night. >> there's one thing that sort of mystified me, though. it's a convention, maybe like the republicans of people with safe seats. you would never know from watching the first day and a half that they lost 63 seats two years ago or a year and a half ago. the election of 2010 was a devastating setback. we're sort of abstracted from all that as if it never happened. >> woodruff: and the conversation about comparing this convention to previous conventions, most people i talk to say this is a much more uunited looking, acting, democratic party than we've seen in the past for all the
different interest groups. >> i think it's a more homogenous party, no question about it. and there is less open discord, and less discord. i think to be a democrat right now is a whole set of credo positions, and you either do that or you're not-- they're far more interested, it seems, in membership, of seeking her ticks rather than converts. >> there is a gap between the party and the president. we talked in tampa about the gap between mitt romney and his party. he's not a natural fit for that party. this president is psyche lodgeically and emotionally a little distant from the party as he is from most politicians. but i think even in policy terms, i think he's much more willing to do a deal with republicans on medicare and other things than a lot of people on the floor tonight. >> ifill: what is all this about? we have seen two days now of incredible cheers and excitement and what appears to the naked eye to be unit bethis president.
yet, is it true that the president is really distanced from his people, or does everybody just need a chance to get together and cheer? >> no, no, i think there's great unit nethis hall. i don't think there's any question about it. there aren't any minority plank having been offered. tass homogenous party-- >> except for jerusalem. >> jerusalem, yeah, which is know-- you know, that is an issue that is a core issue of both parties, and probably not to be unexpected that there would be a flap over it. what i'm seeing right now is a party that is remark self-congratulatory, rather self-pleased with itself. and i think that's a question-- is it going to reach out to the rest of the nation? beyond this hall? >> woodruff: is that a bad thing? >> yes. you know, year supposed to get 51%. and we're just in nature-- >> ifill: how different is that from what happened last
week? >> no, no, exactly right. >> woodruff: in both cases. >> jiewf got two 4'6" midgets and a jump ball is what you have. >> the tea party came in and really wanted to take apart and shrink the sides of government so the orthodoxies in the democratic party were counter-reacting-- let's protect. if you look at all the speeches -- and i've been reading the speeches-- it's let's protect this program. that's really not what clinton was about, and that's, frankly, not what the democratic mayors are about who were sitting at this table. they're cutting and expanding a much more nuanced attitude than something we're seeing. >> woodruff: that's something we'll keep an eye on tonight. and thank goodness you'll be with us tonight. >> woodruff: finally tonight, another perspective on the convention, from one of our coolest toys-- a newsgathering tool we call the hat cam. hari sreenivasan explains. >> a transmitter and microphone climbed on board, and thus began
the "newshour" hat-cam. it began transmitting live on ustream from the heads of "newshour" staffers roaming the hallsst republican national convention. hat-cam traveled beyond the newsroom, down escalators, on shuttle buses and on to the convention floor. it showed us the convention the way most delegates see it, and it captured the energy in the room during the big speechs. everyone wanted the picture. >> slightly. >> but as much as the conversations on hat-cam were about the gadget, people began forgetting about the camera and they opened up about their families and their beliefs. this week, hat-cam is bringing another perspective to events at the democratic national convention in charlotte.
>> you can follow the hatcam's adventures on our web site. >> ifill: you can watch all six live stream channels, including the hat-cam, on our home page, including a feed in spanish and the view we have of the convention floor right now here from our skybox. >> woodruff: it's a fast-moving hat-cam. also on our web site, you can watch congressman den i kucinich take our pew quiz. congressman dennis kucinich take our pew research center political party i.d. quiz. to take the test, answer just twelve questions on our home page. then, share the results with your friends. >> woodruff: again, the major developments of the day: democrats made ready to nominate president obama for a second term, after hearing from former president clinton. the president's team canceled plans to deliver tomorrow night's acceptance speech in a pro football stadium, due to a chance of severe thunderstorms. and the afghan military announced it has arrested or fired hundreds of soldiers, in a bid to stop infiltrators from firing on coalition troops.
>> ifill: and that's the "newshour" for tonight. i'm gwen ifill. >> woodruff: and i'm judy woodruff. stay with us. we'll be back in a few minutes on most pbs stations with full coverage of tonight's session of the 2012 democratic national convention. thank you and good night. major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> they can be enlightening or engaging. conversations help us learn and grow. at wells fargo, we believe you can never underestimate the power of a conversation. it's this exchange of ideas that helps you move ahead with confidence. because an open dialogue is what open doors. wells fargo. together we'll go far.
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